A landlord may want you to pay a sum of money called “last month’s rent” before you move in as a form of insurance against your leaving without giving the proper amount of notice. If you’ve paid for the last month in a payment clearly labeled “last month’s rent,” you obviously don’t have to pay for the last month. But if that's not the case, and you want to use the deposit for the last month’s rent, you need to ask the landlord and get his okay in writing. It's a risky move to assume you can skip paying your last month’s rent, figuring that the landlord will just take it out of your deposit.Here's why:
Many states consider a last month’s rent payment as part of the security deposit when it comes to limits. In other words, if your state limits security deposits to twice the monthly rent, your landlord can collect for the last month and only one more monthly sum as “security.” But the landlord can’t collect twice the monthly rent as a deposit plus the last month’s rent.